Agora Europe Journalism Grants 2020

Emergency Fund for Freelance Journalists in Eastern and Southern Europe
Deadline: 23:00 (Central European Time), 22 June 2020

Eligibility Requirements:

This is a grant opportunity for journalists from Eastern and Southern Europe. Only journalists based in these countries are eligible to apply. * Please read all info before submitting your application.


The Coronavirus pandemic has brought considerable human suffering and major economic disruption. The crisis is also hitting journalism and poses an existential threat to freelance journalists in Europe and around the world. Some countries have recognized the negative impact on the free press and have implemented support measures. However, in Eastern and Southern Europe, such support measures are currently glaringly absent.

Simultaneously, there is a significant risk that countries will use the emergency situation of the pandemic to further retreat from their obligations to protect human rights and ensure press freedom.

Hostwriter sees cross-border journalism as a tool to solve two pressing global challenges: to raise the quality of foreign reporting and to diversify the Western-centric news narrative. By connecting international media professionals, providing training in "Cross-Border Journalism" and launching projects that shed light on unequal power dynamics within the field, Hostwriter powers the collaborative future of journalism that is as diverse as the societies it serves.

Funding Opportunity:

To address these issues, Hostwriter is offering funding in the form of grants to journalists based in Eastern and Southern Europe through the Agora Europe Journalism Grants Program.

Applicants must pitch a single story that they see missing in current news coverage. Additionally, they should share information about their current professional situation and how the Coronavirus pandemic has specifically affected their work as a journalist. This information will enable us to understand the scope of the current crisis in the media sector in different parts of Europe.

The Agora Europe Journalism Grants Program will consist of two parts:

Part I – Emergency Support Funding for Individual Journalists
Twenty (20) journalists will be chosen from the pool of applicants. Each journalist will receive €500 in direct support funding. This funding may be used by the recipient as they see fit (rent, living expenses, food, etc.). In return, they agree to participate in Part II of the Grants Program.

Part II - Agora Europe Reporting Project Funds A second pool of €3000 in funding will be available to split among 5-10 projects. Following an online kick-off meeting, journalists will be grouped into teams based on their proposed project topics. Journalists will work together within these teams to produce collaborative journalism stories.

The reporting process will be complimented with digital capacity-building activities, mentoring and opportunities to connect with publishers through our network.

Participants will be expected to publish their stories locally and/or regionally.

The stories will be translated into English and published in an online dossier by Hostwriter. The online dossier will be released in a digital launch event in late-2020, with a presentation and an open Q&A session with the reporting teams, where lessons from their collaboration will be shared with a wider community of journalists.

* Countries of eligibility: Eastern Europe (Belarus, Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine). Southern Europe (Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Gibraltar, Greece, Holy See, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Republic of Kosovo, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain).